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Photography giants stride the basin

Some giants in the world of photography will share their visions with budding and advanced shutter bugs in Lake Tahoe this weekend for the fourth annual Mountain Photo Tahoe. Organizers J.T. and Linde Ravize hope camera hounds will seize the moment.

Alan Ross, a protege of Ansel Adams, will teach for the series of workshops based out of the Lake Tahoe Community College Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Ross, 53, served as the legendary landscape photographer’s technical assistant in his early 20s. He learned tricks of the trade from Adams, who he said had “an incredible dedication to the art and one of the most even tempers of anybody I’ve ever met.”



Ross followed Adams’ interest in landscape photography, operating a commercial photo studio in San Francisco for 12 years.

“Landscape photography is very much about seizing the moment. You either have it, or you don’t,” Ross said.



Teaching in Yosemite before moving to Santa Fe, N.M., Ross tries to urge his students to apply a “comfort with the equipment and materials so when the moment pops up, they’ll be ready to take it.”

The photographer has reproduced Adams’ special edition prints for 20 years. One of his classes will involve an intensive printing workshop.

Ross will be accompanied by instructor Keith Walklet, another photographer who received inspiration from the monolithic granite creations of Yosemite National Park.

The Sierra Nevada haven served as a departure from Walklet’s days working in a windowless office in New York City.

When he decided to ignore a degree in economics to discover his true labor of love, Walklet hit the open road. He traveled 18,000 miles on a motorcycle with his camera and ended up in Yosemite in 1984 at age 26.

“It was my vision quest,” he said.

Typical of the kind of concessions struggling artists make, Walklet polished porcelain for a park concessionaire.

“Yosemite worked its magic on me, and one winter turned out to be 14 years,” he said.

Early on, it sounded like more than the landscape caught Walklet’s eye.

He met photographer Annette Bottaro there, where she taught workshops through the Yosemite Association.

The two loaned their talents for Mountain Photo Tahoe in the hopes others will find the beauty in the glistening morning dew and changing evening light.

“We can teach anyone because a lot of what teaching photography involves is composition, and that’s universal,” Keith said.

The Walklets will show slides to illustrate their travels at 7 p.m. Saturday at the LTCC Theater. The cost is $7 for adults and $3 for children and seniors.

The Ravizes are hosting Mountain Photo Tahoe, as board members of sponsor Institute of Mountain Photography, with a grander image of Tahoe.

Their hope is to build a photo library and interpretative center for Lake Tahoe.

“(The event) allows people who want to learn photography and the philosophy of photography to share the process of taking good pictures and caring for the environment,” Linde said.

The cost is $150 a day or $250 for two-day admission.

Mountain Photo Tahoe

Friday, Saturday, Sunday

Lake Tahoe Community College

Registration: call 530-544-8881 or 775-846-9279


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